MEXICO CITY – The Mexican LGBT community showed this Saturday how much it has advanced in demanding its rights with a huge march in the capital of a country where hate crimes against its members persist.
Waving the rainbow flags of sexual diversity, around 65,000 people, many wearing colorful disguises, set out in the early afternoon from the Angel of Independence monument to the Plaza de la Constitucion, known as the Zocalo, in downtown Mexico City.
Attorney Antonio Ramirez told EFE that the demonstration aims to “proclaim the rights of everyone, of every human being, not just of gays.”
He thought the participation of different judicial associations supporting the march and raising “the gay flag, which represents sexual diversity internationally, tells us that little by little the community’s rights are being recognized.”
Lucia, a 19-year-old student, said the progress made in recent years “is tremendous.”
“The marches get bigger all the time, with more people coming out to support them,” the young woman said.
As in other countries, the LGBTI Pride march commemorates the 50th anniversary of the clashes that followed police repression on June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall gay bar in New York City.
The protests that followed are widely considered one of the founding events of the movement defending gay rights in the United States and later in the entire world.
Today the law in Mexico City and the states of Coahuila, Campeche, Chihuahua, Colima, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Hidalgo, Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur recognize same-sex marriages.
Other states like Chiapas, Jalisco, Nuevo Leon, Baja California and Puebla accept marriage equality by order of the Supreme Court.
But though progress has been made, violence against the LGBT community is far from finished, and Mexico has the second-largest number of homophobic hate crimes committed in Latin America after Brazil.
The report “Extreme Violence: The Murders of LGBT People in Mexico,” by the civil organization Letra S, shows that during the government of Enrique Peña Nieto from January 2013 to December 2018, the number of victims rose to 473.
And since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took power on Dec. 1, 2018, 28 people of the LGBT community have been slain.
The attorney Ramirez told EFE that it is too early to evaluate the few months in office of the present government, but “during the last administration more states began to legislate in favor of securing equal rights for all.”